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Experience Aberdeen’s Literary Festival – Live and FREE | Festivals

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

WayWORD Festival runs 20th-25th September 2022

For the third year running the University of Aberdeen is set to host the exciting student and youth-led WayWORD Festival. WayWORD returns from September 20th–25th 2022 with a vibrant offering of literary cross-arts events on campus, as well as in Aberdeen Central Library, and The Blue Lamp.

Featuring workshops, author events, panel discussions, and performance nights, the intergenerational festival will be FREE and include BSL interpretation, as well as captions for online events.

As the festival is now in full swing, don’t hesitate to show up on the day for in-person events for at-the-door tickets. For online events and workshops, please book in advance at to avoid disappointment.

Exciting events this year include:

Raymond Antrobus, courtesy of Adam Docker

Raymond Antrobus Saturday 24th September, 5.30 - 6.30pm

Main Hall, King's Pavilion The English-Jamaican Deaf poet and children’s book author discusses his second collection of poems, All The Names Given. This is a chance to hear this award-winning poet talk about new work which reflects on his own name, personal past, family history, and sense of ancestry.

Jenny Colgan & Bee Asha Singh

Thursday 22nd September, 7 - 8pm

Main Hall, King's Pavilion

Why IS romantic fiction still marginalised within the ‘literary’ world in some ways? Join Jenny Colgan, best-selling author and Scottish Queen of Romantic Fiction, and Spoken Word artist Bee Asha Singh, who explores lived experience, sexuality, trauma, and gender equality in a style between poetry and rap.

Michael Pedersen

Friday 23rd September, 5.30 - 6.30pm


Award-winning poet Michael Pedersen talks about his prose debut, /Boy Friends/, a rare and incredibly rich meditation on friendship and tender study of grief and masculinity, as well as a moving tribute to Frightened Rabbit's Scott Hutchison, who took his own life in 2018. Featuring an interview and readings followed by a live Q&A with Michael.

Alan Spence

Friday 23rd September, 7 - 8pm

King's Pavilion

Alan Spence, who founded the Creative Writing department at Aberdeen University will be in conversation with Creative Director of WayWORD, Helen Lynch. The award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, and short story writer will talk about his latest work, two new poetry collections: Thirteen Ways of Looking at Tulips, and, following his appointment as Makar, Edinburgh Come Ye All.

Scottish Contemporary Drama: Debbie Hannan in conversation with Lucy Hinnie

Saturday 24th September, 1 - 2pm

King's Pavilion

Scottish theatre director Debbie Hannan will talk with Lucy about many of the major productions they have undertaken with the Scottish National Theatre, The Royal Court, and beyond, and will speculate on the future of Scottish theatre. Debbie has been highly active in pushing at theatrical conventions and in programming fresh new writing and dramaturgical practice, all with the aim of subverting patterns of power in theatrical making, and of reinvigorating the form with new awareness, be that of gender, race, or class.

Padraig Regan & Naush Sabah

Sunday 25th September, 3.30 - 4.30pm

King's Pavilion

Naush Sabah, a writer, editor, critic, and educator based in the West Midlands, and Northern Irish poet Padraig Regan share their poetry from recently-published collections, exploring themes of embodiment, identity, the self, and the world.

Nan Shepherd Event: Sarah Thomas and Esther Woolfson

Sunday 25th September, 5.30 - 6.30pm

King's Pavilion

How can we live well in an era of environmental disruption? How can we find new ways to value and protect other species? Following in the tradition of writers like Nan Shepherd, Sarah Thomas and Esther Woolfson showcase their recent work, combining travel and nature writing, memoir, and scientific study, to address some of the most pressing concerns of our time.

WayWORD is funded by University of Aberdeen and Creative Scotland.


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